Natural emotion vocabularies as windows on distress and well-being

In the Receptiviti LIWC Research Series, we highlight important research conducted using our platform and science that has implications for our customers' and partners' businesses and for society at large:

The current investigation measures active emotion vocabularies in participant-generated natural speech and examined their relationships to individual differences in mood, personality, and physical and emotional well-being. Study 1 analyzes stream-of-consciousness essays by 1,567 college students. Study 2 analyzes public blogs written by over 35,000 individuals. The studies yield consistent findings that emotion vocabulary richness corresponds broadly with experience. Larger negative emotion vocabularies correlate with more psychological distress and poorer physical health. Larger positive emotion vocabularies correlate with higher well-being and better physical health. Findings support theories linking language use and development with lived experience and may have future clinical implications pending further research.

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Vine, V., Boyd, R.L. & Pennebaker, J.W. Natural emotion vocabularies as windows on distress and well-being. Nat Commun11, 4525 (2020).